Hartal Politics Gets Thumbs Down By J&K Residents20 November 2010
Srinagar: Five months on, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has the last laugh as people have rebuffed the hartal politics of Hurriyat hawks, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani under their “Quit Kashmir” programme. “The government is spending a hell lot of money to buy over auto and sumo taxi operators. Even the government employees who are already on pay rolls are being purchased to make hartals unsuccessful”, said Geelani. Frustrated by people’s defiance, Geelani urged transporters and government employees to observe hartals for the sake of their children’s future. “Hartal is not a ritual. It is a method of our protest against the Indian occupation. We urge people to observe hartal to send a strong message that we want nothing short of azadi”, said a Hurriyat hawk. Geelani however hastened to add that hartals are not their permanent feature and they would give more relief to people in future. “We urge people to observe hartal on November 24 and 27. On Friday, people should march to Eidgah after prayers to lay foundation for martyrs’ memorial”, he said. Hartals and curfew for the last five months have put Kashmir on the brink of economic and financial disaster. Kashmir Inc. figures reveal that around one lakh employees in the private sector have been laid off. Plus, each day of shutdown means losses of Rs100 crore to Kashmir. “People are tired of hartal politics. They are not fools and know what is happening. Kashmir has been deleted from the UN list.People understand everything and I hope better sense will prevail”, Omar told DNA. Meanwhile, the police said miscreants pelted stones on a school bus near Zaldagar area of Srinagar, on Saturday. “Two lady teachers were injured and window panes of the bus were also damaged in the incident”, a police spokesman said. Miscreants also pelted stones on the state road transport corporation yard at Parimpora, this afternoon and attempted to cause damages to it. “Police immediately reached on spot and chased away the miscreants,” he said.